3 ways in which DARIAH contributes to the EOSC

EOSC is a big acronym, representing the bold vision of enabling all European researchers to deposit, access and analyse scholarly resources beyond borders and disciplines. Over the past years, it has become a central component of European science policy and, since its launch in October 2018, a reality as an infrastructure too. Still, due to the scale, the complexity and the multiple dimensions of the endeavour, it is not easy to gain an accurate overview and translate the offerings of the EOSC into one’s own institution or research setting. In this series of blog posts, we outline concrete ways in which scholarly and service provider communities around DARIAH can interact with the EOSC and the value it holds for them. We also summarize the many ways in which DARIAH already contributes to the EOSC. 

In the third episode of our EOSC blog series, we discuss what does it mean for DARIAH to contribute to the EOSC federation as a distributed infrastructure with 20 member countries and what are the challenges and opportunities we see for DARIAH members. 

Together with the scientific community of users, the RIs have a key role to help the EOSC to start with robust high-quality data sets and working commons.( Make Science Happen – ESFRI White Paper)

Operating as an ERIC since 2014, DARIAH is in a great position to be among the major thematic enablers who connect the Arts and Humanities communities with the European Open Science landscape. Along these lines, DARIAH’s  contributions to the EOSC comprise 3 main areas: 

1. Building bridges between local and domain-specific services, communities of practice and the emerging EOSC 

DARIAH provides its expertise  to co-design EOSC thematic services that are relevant for research communities as well as to promote the use of EOSC Core services in its community. Thematic research infrastructures such as DARIAH or CLARIN make sure that the EOSC is truly inclusive with all disciplines and geographical regions [1]. Working for decades on community standards, interoperability challenges or community needs, ERICs should be closely associated with, and even be responsible for, the further refinement of the thematic services inclusion criteria and the self-assessment that will be developed by the Rules of Participation Board

In particular, since 2018, DARIAH has been contributing to European projects to address infrastructure prerequisites of open research practices in the Arts and Humanities to prepare the EOSC. 

EOSC-related European infrastructure building projects to which DARIAH contributed or contributes:
OpenAire Advance (from Jan. 2018 to Feb. 2021) – Through our participation in the OpenAIRE project, we connected thematic data services from the national levels to the OpenAIRE Research Graph that serves as European data commons and is on its way to become a crucial data discovery component of the EOSC. Having information management and discovery systems in place that are inclusive with all disciplines  is an absolute prerequisite of showcasing the value and richness of arts and humanities scholarship. You can read more about the project outcomes here
SSHOC Cluster project (from Jan. 2019 to Apr. 2022) – As one of the five cluster projects, SSHOC is missioned to build the SSH branch of the EOSC. DARIAH is involved in this project with three of its national partner institutions – OEAW, PSNC and UGOE – and shapes with the other SSH ERICs the services and technologies needed to run the SSH components in the EOSC. Let us highlight four SSHOC lines of work particularly important for Arts and Humanities: 1) the creation of the SSH Open Marketplace, a discovery portal and contextualised catalogue bringing together tools & services, training materials, datasets, publications and workflows; 2) support for data repositories aiming at gaining the CoreTrustSeal certification; 3) the Dataverse software is adjusted to answer SSH communities needs; 4) existing services and technologies are “lifted” to increase interoperability between research infrastructures.
TRIPLE (from Oct. 2019 to Mar. 2023) – The main output of the TRIPLE project, the GOTRIPLE discovery platform, is designed to be integrated in the EOSC and thus to enrich the range of services for the Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) communities across Europe and beyond. GOTRIPLE provides a single access point that allows the discovery, enrichment, semantic filtering, intelligent linking and reuse of all kinds of research artefacts that are relevant for the wide variety of disciplines under the umbrella domain of Social Sciences and Humanities. The discovery platform is one of the future central services of OPERAS
CLS INFRA (from Mar. 2021 to Feb. 2025) – The Computational Literary Studies Infrastructure (CLS INFRA) project brings together and further develops institutional, regional and national efforts to build shared and sustainable infrastructure – high-quality data, tools and knowledge needed for literary studies in the digital age. The resulting improvement in provision will benefit researchers by bridging gaps between greater- and lesser-resourced communities in computational literary studies and beyond. The key outputs of the project (encoding standards, API libraries, methods, multilingual literary corpora, training materials etc.) will be connected  to EOSC. Learn more at: https://clsinfra.io
EOSC-Future (from Apr. 2021 to Sep. 2023) – The next steps to shape the EOSC bring together discipline agnostic  e-infrastructures and thematic cluster projects in the big EOSC-Future project. DARIAH’s role will be to connect EOSC-Core services and thematic services and to support as much as possible the reusability of agnostic services provided via the EOSC-Core for thematic services. DARIAH will also be involved in the training activities for Arts and Humanities communities. Learn more at: https://eoscfuture.eu/ 

Beyond the development of new services within project frameworks, the real challenge lies in the possibility for existing DARIAH services (mainly in-kind contributions from national DARIAHs) or, in general, services used in the Arts and Humanities communities, to find their way in the EOSC. The EOSC aims to promote and ease data-driven science, that is a challenge per se for Arts & Humanities communities. Designing the implementation of the FAIR principles and the associated services is sometimes reduced to certified data repositories, while the DARIAH landscape shows a much greater diversity, as it is more closely aligned to research workflows. That said, the majority of services declared as DARIAH in-kind contributions are classified as “access to resources” services which usually involve data collection, curation and publication on scales that are smaller than Core Trust Seal certified data repositories (such as the Polish Digital Libraries Federation, or the Fran portal Fran – Dictionaries of the Fran Ramovš Institute of the Slovenian Language ZRC SAZU). In many cases these services are built on top of Cultural Heritage collections whose integration is a crucial precondition of research in many areas within the Arts and Humanities domain. 

Word cloud of DARIAH services description from the “DARIAH (in-kind) contributions: a visual walk-through” poster – https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02196707

To face the diversity and richness of services and research projects resources created in the Arts and Humanities communities, DARIAH contributes to the dissemination of good practices in terms of software development with the EURISE network for example, but also supports efforts to redefine the term ‘data’ and better align terminology as well as the underlying concepts and practices according to the needs of Arts and Humanities research [2].

2. Creating pathways to the open research culture in Arts and Humanities through training and advocacy 

Speaking of ‘O’ of the EOSC acronym: while supporting Arts and Humanities communities in transitioning to open research and publication workflows, we at DARIAH acknowledge the complexities that come with these changes in research culture. It requires a continuous and critical reflection on established research and publication practices (e.g. how source materials are gathered, how successive steps of analysis are made understandable and reusable to others but also deep conceptual entailments, like what we consider as research data). 

Therefore, it is a strategic priority for DARIAH to support the deeper and broader adoption of open research practices by providing advocacy materials and support (e.g. via the DARIAH Open Science Helpdesk) as well as training facilities of different kinds (summer schools, winter schools, online materials hosted on DARIAH Campus). This includes sharing knowledge about DH tools and methods (on OpenMethods) or providing guidance to the DARIAH communities to navigate this increasingly complex landscape of the EOSC and open research policies (on DARIAH Open). An overview of this work and the community engagement can be found in the DARIAH Open Science case study published in the DARIAH Annual Report 2020 [3].

3. Participating in the EOSC governance 

One of the missions of the cluster projects like SSHOC is to propose stable and coherent foundations for the disciplinary branches of the EOSC. The contributors of the SSHOC project form such an umbrella for the Social Sciences and Humanities. The “First Tier” meeting gathering all SSH ERIC Directors (plus LIBER and the SME Trust IT) generates a wealth of  positive interaction among the Strategic Leaders of the partner organisations and ensures that a coherent SSH offer is being developed and built with the key stakeholders. Ongoing discussions are held to ensure that SSH collaboration in the EOSC framework will continue even after this project.

In addition, DARIAH is now officially a member of the EOSC Association which is the legal entity involved with the European Commission to progress the EOSC partnership and bring together all relevant stakeholders to co-design and deploy the EOSC. This also further strengthens DARIAH’s efforts to provide a strong voice for Arts and Humanities in discussions on EU research funding and research policy. Membership and governance structure seem very nationally oriented so far, which is a challenge for the representation of disciplines. In this role, DARIAH will make sure that resources offered via the EOSC catalogue and financed through projects or through the future Partnership will also serve the needs of Arts and Humanities researchers. DARIAH can surely build on its network to ensure communities priorities will be taken into account, and disciplinary strategies and synergies can also be discussed with the other SSH ERICs as well as with some of the DARIAH national partners also involved in the EOSC Association [4].

As another way to shape the development of the EOSC on the policy level, DARIAH is also present in the following EOSC Task Forces acting as advisory groups of the EOSC Association: Research Careers, Recognition, and Credit; the Upskilling Countries to Engage in EOSC; the Financial Sustainability; and the Semantic Interoperability Task Forces. In them, DARIAH acts as a representative of Arts and Humanities and invests to map DARIAH policies and strategy into the EOSC ones for the benefits of the end-users. 

To bring DARIAHns closer to this body of ongoing work, in this blog post series, the DARIAH Central Office will publish regular updates about how the relationship between DARIAH and the EOSC evolves. Should you have any questions, please feel free to turn to: laure.barbot@dariah.eu and erzsebet.toth-czifra@dariah.eu

[1]: As put forward in the EOSC Declaration: https://eosc-portal.eu/sites/default/files/eosc_declaration.pdf .

[2]:  See for instance: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02961317/ .

[3]: See p. 16 of the DARIAH Annual Report 2020 here: https://www.dariah.eu/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/DARIAH-EU-AnnualReport-2020.pdf .

[4]: Over 197 DARIAH partners institutions, 25 have also taken an active role in the EOSC Association: 3 as member and mandated organisations to represent their country; 20 as member; 2 as observers.

Cite this article as: Erzsébet Tóth Czifra Laure Barbot, "3 ways in which DARIAH contributes to the EOSC," in DARIAH Open, 28/09/2021, https://dariahopen.hypotheses.org/1096.


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